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​Susquehanna Health and UPMC Sign Letter of Intent to Pursue Affiliation to Expand Healthcare Services, Advance Quality Care in Northcentral Pennsylvania

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WILLIAMSPORT, Pa., May 5, 2016Susquehanna Health and UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) have signed a letter of intent to pursue an affiliation to expand healthcare services and advance quality care for the people of northcentral Pennsylvania.
Susquehanna Health, which has been conducting a thoughtful, mission-focused process over the last year to explore partnership options, will now hold exclusive, detailed discussions with UPMC about how the two health systems can work together.  Both organizations have begun the due diligence process to work toward a definitive agreement to affiliate.  During this time period, nothing changes for patients and their families, employees and physicians at Susquehanna Health.
“We could not be more pleased that UPMC, one of the nation’s pre-eminent academic medical centers, is the system selected to move forward with us in this process.  This is a natural evolution of our 25-year history of successful partnerships to better serve our community,” said Susquehanna Health President & CEO Steven P. Johnson. “Looking ahead to the changing healthcare environment of the future, we see great opportunities to combine the strength of both organizations to improve the health and well-being of our region.”
Susquehanna Health Board of Directors Chairwoman Ann Pepperman said the Board took several factors into account in deciding to move forward with UPMC. “Since the beginning of this process above all else, our goal has been to do what is in the best interests of our community. Toward that end, we were looking for a compatible fit with our faith-based, service-oriented culture and a relationship that enables us to grow services for our community and continue to add family-sustaining jobs,” she said. “UPMC has a proven track record of investing in and growing services for patients in the Erie, Altoona and Bedford communities. In addition, UPMC supports and maintains the Catholic tradition of its member hospital, UPMC Mercy in Pittsburgh.”
“UPMC and Susquehanna Health share a commitment to patient-focused clinical excellence and a history of investing in the communities we serve.  By combining our world-renowned health care and research programs with our value-driven insurance products, UPMC is able to offer patients and employers clinically integrated programs to better manage the community’s health,” said Jeffrey A. Romoff, president and CEO, UPMC.  “Together we will enhance and position UPMC Susquehanna Health as the leading provider of world-class care at the lowest possible cost in northcentral Pennsylvania.”
“This partnership will bring innovation to this region, introduce another choice for affordable health insurance, recruit top physician talent, increase access to services and invest in advanced clinical information systems,” added Mr. Johnson.
“Our Board invested considerable time making this decision,” Ms. Pepperman added. “We are deeply committed to doing what is best for the community.  Our community deserves it. Choosing UPMC allows us to continue to advance the quality and breadth of services with a tireless focus on the patient and serving others.”